Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Sir Bear Quilt

A few months ago I won some sweet fabric through Bernie's giveaway of Art Gallery Fabric on her Needle and Foot website. The line is Capsules Nest, a smooth poplin print in mostly black on white. The bundle included three panels about 35 by 43 inches as well as several fat quarters. I set it aside, knowing that eventually an opportunity would present itself to make a quilt for a wee youngster. 

That opportunity came in the annual Hands2Help Challenge hosted by Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict. One of the donation options this year is Little Lambs Foundation, an organization that provides quilts to children transitioning in a variety of situations to foster care, shelters or hospitals. 

I knew that the designs on this fabric would be perfect for a huggie quilt to give comfort in a stressful time. I chose the Sir Bear panel to start with. I should have taken photos before cutting, but I was so eager to get started that I completely forgot. Here's the link to the fabric as it was showcased on Bernie's website along with other fabrics that were provided by Art Gallery Fabrics. (An awesome array!) My first thought was to take the panel with Sir Bear in the center of it and quilt it in colorful thread. But almost the entire panel was white with just the bear and two strips of print along the edges. While this would be really sweet in a nursery, it did not seem practical for a quilt that might be traveling around. So I went to my Kona stash and found several teal scraps to fill in the white space. 

Here's what I made:

I cut Sir Bear out and surrounded him with cuts from one of the coordinating fat quarters, then added teal strips to each side (each about 5 inches wide, cut) and then to the top and bottom. I cut the printed strips from the sides of the panel and attached them to the top and bottom. I also cut the side strips from a similar panel with some cute sheep in the center. (Sorry, sheep. You'll find your way into another quilt, sometime, I'm sure.) I put those strips along the sides. There is still a fair amount of white in the quilt, but the print on it will hide signs of wear love better than solid white, I think. 

Since I had used up most of my teal scraps, I made a trip to the store for the quilt back. I was hoping to find a little print, but nothing seemed quite right, so I bought more teal. After I got home, I decided to add in just a bit of black and white to pep up the back. I had just enough of the fat quarter from the front to make a narrow strip to insert between the two shades of fabric I bought. 

This quilt went together so fast!! We had a rainy weekend, which was perfect for sewing. I didn't overthink the plan--just laid out my fabrics and cut the strips to sizes that fit the easiest. Making the back was really easy because the quilt top fit easily on a width of fabric. (Apparently the operative word here is EASY.)

For quilting, I knew I wanted to do wavy walking foot lines. I was going to stipple around Sir Bear, but decided at the last minute to outline him and then quilt around parts of his clothing. I was too lazy to change to my FMQ foot, so, I just worked freestyle with my walking foot. Then I filled in the background with wavy lines extending across the quilt. 

For the binding, I used the leftovers of the two solids from the back, reversing the colors, so that the lighter binding was against the darker part of the back and vice versa. I'm sure no kiddie will care how it was done, but it was a way to amuse myself while finishing the quilt. I was going to machine sew the whole thing, but my walking foot got tired and didn't want to sew the binding down, so yesterday evening, I competed with sunset and whipped that binding down by hand in time to get some photos outside before it got too dark. I think it will be sturdy enough to stand up to washings, I used short lengths of double thread so it should be pretty secure.

How about some tree shots?

And a close up of Sir Bear, himself--
Even closer--
And the signature--
 Now, some stats:
Pattern: Improv piecing. 
Fabrics: Capsules Nest from Art Gallery Fabrics: Sir Bear Panel, Finger Paint fat quarter and part of One Two Sheep Panel. Kona Solids in Jade, Capri and Azure for front and Jade and Pool for back and binding.
Batting: Leftover piece of Warm and White 
Thread: Superior Masterpiece in Granite for piecing; Superior King Tut in Mint Julep in the top (yes, I'm STILL using that cone and there is still a little left) and Aurifil 40 wt Mako in Light Jade in the bobbin; Mint Julep for hand sewing on binding. 
Binding: Cut 2 1/2 inches wide and folded in half;. 
Size: Quilt: 34 5/8 by 41 1/4 inches pieced and quilted. I haven't washed it yet, but it will likely be a little smaller.  
Machines: Singer Featherweight for piecing; Singer 115 Treadle for walking foot quilting.  

I hope a little child--maybe a baby or toddler will find comfort with the cute little bear and cheerful colors. I think it's just the right size for a huggie quilt that will fit in a backpack. I still have other parts of the fabric bundle left, so I think a similar kind of quilt with what's left of the sheep panel is somewhere in the future. Thanks to Bernie and AFG for helping me pay this forward. 

Here are three quick things I learned with this quilt:
--You can almost free motion quilt with a walking foot.
--Rainy weekends are great for making little quilts--especially ones that fit on width-of-fabric backs.
--I can hand sew a binding really quickly when I'm in a race with the sun.
--I really will make a panel quilt someday. I think. 

I'm linking up this week with Sew Fresh Quilts for Let's Bee Social and with crazymomquilts for Finish It Up Friday. Later this month I'll also link up with the big finale linky party at Confessions of a Fabric Addict where we can all share our Hands2Help quilts.

Have a beautiful week, quilting, hugging, or whatever else you enjoy.

(I'm not affiliated with any company, so when I mention products or services, I'm just documenting what I used or liked.) 


Linda said...

I can't tell you how much I love this quilt! The teals with that black and white are outstanding. Nice job on the quilting, and Sir Bear is so cute. :)

Lisa J. said...

This is such lovely fabric. your choice to add the teals was perfect. It's a great quilt for a little kid.

Bernie Kringel said...

You made such good use of this panel. I love that it is relatively simple because then Mr. Bear is the star of the show. He will surely bring comfort to a child. Janine, this was such a great way to use this bundle. I love it!

Louise said...

Oh, Sir Bear! How handsome you are! I love his little tie and how he shows in outline form on the quilt back. Congrats and thanks for making such a sweet piece for Little Lambs :)

Janice Holton said...

What a great boy quilt! There are so many fun girly fabrics out there, the boys kind of get left behind. This one would work for either!

Di~ said...

I love this quilt and love that you document the 4 not 3 :) ha things you learned! said...

Sir Bear is so darling and I hope it finds a great home in someone's arms who needs him very much. I love everything about this quilt, the pattern, the colors and the quilting. It's a wonderful quilt for a great cause. said...

This quilt is adorable and so fun. Simple yet so effective. Well done.

Elaine/Muddling Through said...

What a perfect little quilt! Someone is going to love this one a lot.

grammajudyb said...

Well done! Just my two cents.... I always hand sew binding down. My adult grandaughter’s graduation quilt has survived 14 years of nearly daily use and the regular washing that her “clean freak” tendencies require. So I am sure this quilt will be “loved” and will survive.

The Joyful Quilter said...

The recipient will certainly LOVE Sir Bear!!!

Sarah Craig said...

I love this quilt! I also had some deja vu, as I used the same bear panel in my own quilt for Little Lambs! He just screams "kid", doesn't he?

FunThreads Designs said...

Super sweet little quilt

Carol E. said...

Super cute! I love it!

Kaja said...

I like this a lot! Lovely clean colours, simple shapes, perfect for a child.

Melinda said...

Absolutely adorable Love the bear, the pattern you came up with and the colors. Some child will love this.

My Sister Made Me Do It.... said...

Very nice love the teals with the black and white....and the tree shots are really good. Love your signature too...well done.

BunkHouseQuilts said...

Love it~!

Susan said...

That is fabulous. I'd seen that bear on someone's IG photo, but didn't see it so large and never realized how completely cute he is! The quilt is wonderful. How nice that you won the fabric. I bought a bunch of fabric from Needle and Foot for my Fall into a Quilt Along blocks. I love the feel of the AG background I bought - almost like silk! Thanks for stopping by DesertSky Quilting!